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Judge Approves Sale of 50 Below’s Assets

The Duluth, Minn.-based company’s retail division has been sold to Milwaukee-based ARI for $5 million, while its financial services division has been sold to San Diego-based Emerald Connect for $3.5 million. The website design company announced its filing for bankruptcy in August after owing millions of dollars to the IRS and the state.

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A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the sale of 50 Below’s assets to two companies yesterday.

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The Duluth, Minn.-based company’s retail division has been sold to Milwaukee-based ARI for $5 million, while its financial services division has been sold to San Diego-based Emerald Connect for $3.5 million.  

50 Below, which employs more than 200 individuals, designs and builds websites for powersports dealers and other retailers. It announced its filing for bankruptcy in August after owing millions of dollars to the IRS and the state.

Roy Olivier, president CEO of ARI, told MPN that his company had been interested in purchasing 50 Below for quite some time.

"We think they’ve done a great job in terms of platform perspective," he said. "We know their customer service is the highest in the industry, and we’re interested to bring that to the ARI family. We think it’s going to be a great combination."

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Competitive company Dominion Enterprises had sought to buy 50 Below’s retail division, but lost the bid to ARI. The company filed an objection to this decision, arguing that its bid of $5.15 million was greater than ARI’s bid and that ARI had received preferential treatment.

According to 50 Below’s trustee Nauni Jo Manty, the assets were sold to ARI instead of Dominion in order to preserve the business in Duluth.

Olivier says that dealers on the 50 Below platform will continue to see high quality results going forward.

"We plan on investing in and growing this business. We’re going to focus on the same high quality service that 50 Below delivered previously, and we’re going to enhance the quality by putting in better content and making it a better source of revenue for the dealers. We’re really excited about it."

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